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mailmanI am writing to you today on behalf of family members and friends of seniors living in Assisted Living and truthfully, my own mom.

During the COVID-19 epidemic it was imperative that we keep our most at risk members of society safe, our moms, dads and grandparents. But as the pandemic has dragged on those very people that we cherish and the family that we value is being lost, their memories are fading unable to see family and friends and reminisce about old times (how else do we keep our memories alive). Instead our loved ones are alone, in a facility we once thought safe, in a little room they once adored but now is a prison.

Unfortunately, NYS deems Assisted Living facilities in the same category as Nursing Homes and they are locked down. Please note; the big differences between the Assisted Living and Nursing Homes is that if you live in Assisted Living you have chosen to do so and you are privately paying for the living arrangement, meals, laundry and aides. Nursing homes on the other hand are for our seniors that have severe physical or mental disabilities that preclude them from being able to function on their own.

Currently, family and friends CAN NOT visit assisted living, it has been 3 (THREE) MONTHS. You can call or you can facetime but that’s as close as you can get. AND should for any reason you end up in the hospital or have to leave the facility for 24 hours you are then quarantined for 14 days upon your return. (EVEN with a negative COVID test upon discharge from a hospital.)

Our seniors are sitting in their rooms, alone, quietly drifting away. For family members this is heartbreaking, we call daily we hear “I’m so lonely, I’m all alone.” My mom is 96 years old and I can not bear to think of her passing knowing that she feels so alone, in the little room she once adored, now her own personal prison. These should be happy days for her.

If you have a senior in your life or a wonderful memory of a senior, please take a couple extra minutes and please write to a Congressperson or Senator or all of them and simply say: Please allow visitation in our Assisted Living Facilities as soon as possible.

Thank you for your time.

Kathy Dedrick
Lansing, NY
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